I didn’t know about this article from last year until a friend came across it and sent me the link.
Sure I can publish this project on my blog and website (if I had one), tweet about it, instagram photos until the cows come home but how great it is to actually be published by someone else!? I just wish I was mentioned in it…
So over the past fortnight I have agonised over how to write about this in a productive and fair way. It is not about blaming anyone or seeking pity for poor ole me not getting my name in lights. It is a question of Moral Rights, our relationships with our clients and our ability to empower our clients to not only contribute and collaborate during the design process but take ownership of their design without losing our own connection to it. This last part is critical to my practice, but clearly I am yet to work out how to achieve this balance.
For any readers unfamiliar with Moral Rights, as part of the Copyright Act Moral Rights protect the rights of artists (including architects), our reputation and the integrity of our work. Key to this is our right to be attributed as the designer of a project when it is constructed, publicised or represented in print. (Definition courtesy of Acumen)
The Australian Institute of Architects Client and Architect Agreement has a clause for Moral Rights:
The architect must be attributed in any Public Information about the project promulgated by, or on behalf of, the client or architect, whether the project is complete or not.
If you do not use the standard Client Architect Agreement or DIA Design Agreement make sure your own version includes a clause on this. More importantly (as we all know most clients will never read the contract) ensure to have a conversation with your client with regard to Moral Rights, attribution and how mutually beneficial this is – actually maybe have a couple of conversations with them about it.